Improving face identification of mask-wearing individuals

Date
2022-03-28
Authors
Manley, Krista D.
Chan, Jason
Wells, Gary
Wells, Gary
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Springer
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Psychology
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Psychology
Abstract
Research has consistently shown that concealing facial features can hinder subsequent identification. The widespread adoption of face masks due to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical and urgent need to discover techniques to improve identification of people wearing face coverings. Despite years of research on face recognition and eyewitness identifications, there are currently no evidence-based recommendations for lineup construction for cases involving masked individuals. The purpose of this study was to examine identification accuracy of a masked perpetrator as a function of lineup type (i.e., unmasked or masked lineups) and perpetrator presence (i.e., absent or present). In both experiments, discriminability was superior for masked lineups, a result that was due almost exclusively to higher hits rates in target-present conditions. These data suggest that presenting a masked lineup can enhance identification of masked faces, and they have important implications for both eyewitness identification and everyday face recognition of people with face coverings. Keywords: Eyewitness identification, Lineups, Mask, Face covering, Face recognition
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This article is published as Manley, K.D., Chan, J.C.K. & Wells, G.L. Improving face identification of mask-wearing individuals. Cogn. Research 7, 27 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s41235-022-00369-7. © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
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